(ZIZ News) — Friday will be officially recognized as World Mental Health Day and officials at the National Counselling Centre are spreading the word about the importance of mental health awareness.
Counsellor, Jeweleen Manners-Woodley, told ZIZ News that the focus this year is on schizophrenia.
“It’s a disease that affects one percent of persons worldwide or about 26 million persons in general. So it’s something that is fairly common. It’s something that is chronic, meaning that it affects persons over their lifespan, and there’s also no cure for it. However, it’s a disease that is highly treatable and so we wanted to highlight the fact that even though it’s a common illness it’s something that there is treatment available for,” she said.
She said one of the most common misconceptions about schizophrenia is that it refers to a person having a split personality.
“It doesn’t refer to having a split personality, really, even though the word itself means fragmented mind. Schizophrenia is a chronic disease that disturbs a person’s thoughts, feelings, and also disturbs the way that they behave and so persons with schizophrenia might struggle with hallucinations which include seeing, hearing, and feeling things that are not real, such as hearing voices,” she said.
She said other symptoms include suffering from delusions, and thought and movement disorders.
She said it’s important for everyone to be aware that if someone has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, with proper medication they can still lead productive lives.